Who taught: Huffington Post and NBC
Every time I think about learning something new, I also think about learning a skill, not simply acquiring knowledge, like learning a new language. It takes a lot of effort to be able to get better at any language.
It will need hundreds or thousands of pages to talk about learning a new language and by no means I am not an expert in that area.
But what I can do is to speak from my experience. A lot of non-native English speakers, including me, have experienced “blank” moments when native English speakers speak English, especially when it is fast.
It needs a lot of practices. What kind of practices? Well, here is what I do.
Watch TV shows for two or three hours a day.
What do I watch? I do watch news shows. Almost every day, I watch NBC nightly news at 6:30 pm and CBS Evening News at 7 pm. Those are very good because their anchors’ pronunciation is so clear and slow to follow. As I watch, I do my best to speak aloud what Brian and Scott say. In fact, my strategy is almost like impersonating them.
But, you would hardly hear people speaking that slowly with that kind of almost perfect pronunciation. To overcome this, there is my next step.
Watch comedy TV shows!
Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, and Two and a Half Man are the ones I enjoy watching. In doing so, you would hear a lot of expressions and jargons you would never get to hear from news shows.
So, the point is that you do need to be very specific and have a plan to hear English around you as much time as you can. That’s the starting point. Think about it! What could you even say if you cannot understand what other people are talking about?
From today, set a specific goal, make a plan, and act on it!
Yesterday Morning, I was watching NBC Today show and one story caught my attention. There is a TV anchor in a local broadcasting company and she got an email that criticizes her look. And, she reacted, pointing out that it is a perfect example of bullying. She was on NBC to talk more about the situation and during her interview this is what she said;
That email was a low blow.
At that moment, I remembered a Huffington Post article about Samsung’s advertisement, mocking Apple fanboys.
When it posted the article to its facebook page, it said, “Samsung’s new ad bashes the iPhone 5. Is it a low blow?” What is your feeling or the first impression when you hear this expression? One thing I really like about this one is that it really rhymes. “low” and “blow”
You know what I think? I think of pain because of ….. hmm (a little embarrassing)…. a kick to my genitalia. That would totally hurt me. I mean, that is so cruel. Don’t you agree? I gave you an example of physical attack but there is also a verbal attack. That’s what that anchor meant when she said, “That email was a low blow.”
As a side note, you would find a lot of English expressions that rhymes. My recommendation is to try to speak aloud when you hear any new expression to see whether it rhymes or not. Chances are it will.
If your friends say something cruel to you, you can say, “Dude. That’s a low blow.” I just hope no one really kick you to have you experience a physical low blow.